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Add to My Citations To Lewis Frank Walden
4 March 1870 • Buffalo, N.Y.
(Hannibal Evening Courier-Post, 6 Mar 1935, UCCL 00439)
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Buffalo, [March 4. ]

[Friend Frank:— ]

It was a little surprising to get a letter from you for when one has been out of one’s range of vision for 20 years, one is apt to forget him.1

I am glad you are in the ministry, [& ] hope your career may be long & useful. It is the highest dignity to which a man may aspire in this life, &, when its duties are faithfully performed, the satisfaction felt must be greater than that customarily felt by men in the ordinary walks of life.2

I have quit lecturing for the present & settled down to doing nothing—at least it nearly amounts to that. I do write some. I am a third owner of an old established daily paper here. I shall not travel any more—at least until obliged to—if that day ever comes. I was married a month ago & so have cast away the blue goggles of bachelordom & now look at the world through the crystal lenses of my new estate.

I have ordered my publisher to send you a copy of my book, & it will reach you in time, but not right away, because the supply of books still remains considerably behind the demand.

Good bye & good luck to you.

Your friend,

Saml. L. Clemens.

Explanatory Notes | Textual Commentary

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1 In 1935 the Hannibal Evening Courier-Post gave this account of Clemens’s boyhood friendship with Walden (d. 1924):

Clemens lived in the family home on Hill street while Frank Walden lived on what, years ago was known as Palmyra avenue but which is now Mark Twain avenue, at the very foot of Cardiff hill, and there was a well defined pathway from the top of the hill, where the two boys, with other friends, played soldier and “hunted Indians,” to the back door of the Walden home.

Sam and Frank went swimming in the Mississippi and in the old “swimming hole” on Bear creek, hunted rabbits and fished together, and played boyish pranks. As youths they set type together in the same printing office, here, the old Hannibal Courier, which several years later was purchased by Walden. (“Frank Walden and Mark Twain Kept Alive Boyhood Friendship; Family Has Letters,” 6 Mar 1935, 9C)

Clemens had been an apprentice printer to Joseph P. Ament, publisher of the Hannibal Missouri Courier, from May 1848 until January 1851. Walden’s ownership of the Courier has not been confirmed, but it seems likely he was the Lewis F. Walden who, from 19 May to 21 June 1856, published a short-lived daily edition of the weekly Hannibal True American, a Know-Nothing paper (L1, 1–2, 113–14 n. 5; Holcombe, 988; Gregory, 358).

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2 Walden had become a Methodist preacher. Clemens had similarly praised the ministry in 1865 (L1, 322–24).

glyphglyphCopy-text:glyphHannibal Evening Courier-Post, 6 Mar 1935, 9C.

glyphglyphPrevious publication:glyph L4, 85–86.

glyphglyphEmendations and textual notes:glyph

March 4. • March 4, 1869

Friend Frank:— • [printed out of sequence at 86.9: ‘month | Friend Frank:— | ago’]

& • and [also at 86.2, 3, 5, 9 (twice), 11, 14]